Here's what you need to know...

  1. To survive the upcoming zombie invasion, you'll need real-world strength, muscular endurance, athlete-like conditioning, and speed. Also, a shotgun.
  2. To develop these attributes, use the continuous ramp method, mechanical drop sets, and a variety of Olympic lifts, throws, and jumps.
  3. Loaded carries will help you haul supplies and rescue attractive mates so you can repopulate the earth with breathers.
  4. Cone drills will develop your change-of-direction abilities in case the ammo runs out.

Are You Prepared?

Shotgun:  Check.
Machete:  Check.
Duct tape:  Check.

Great. You're almost ready for the imminent zombie apocalypse. Almost. Now it gets tricky.

We don't know what form the zombie invasion will take. It could be caused by a mutated virus, brain parasites, neurotoxins, aliens, nanobots, or ancient curses. The origin will determine the type of zombie we'll be dealing with.

Fast or slow zombies? Brainless walkers or hive-minded hoards? Will humanity unite against the undead or will we also be fighting our fellow survivors for those last few cans of tuna?

We don't know, so we need to be ready for anything. And we have to survive until the military arrives, patient zero is discovered by a smart-yet-super-handsome scientist, or until all the infected decay into mounds of mush.

The ammo and supplies will eventually run out, so we have to add one more thing to our checklist: physical readiness.

Build a Zombie-Fighting Body

To get ready fast, use methods that allow you to stimulate several physical attributes simultaneously.

You'll need to:

  • Get stronger and add some useful size
  • Be able to sustain continuous muscular effort
  • Be fast, agile, and explosive
  • Develop skill and strength that carry over into the real world, not just in the gym

3 Physical Attributes You'll Need

To survive, focus on three main areas and use a specific training technique for each:

1.  Strength and Size

Method:  Continuous Ramp

You'll build strength and size with the program below by doing sets of 5 heavy reps on the big exercises using the continuous ramp method.

This method involves using three variations of the same movement pattern. Each of these three movements are ramped up to their 5RM. When you hit your 5RM on one movement you continue adding weight but switch to the next (stronger) movement.

For example, you'll do Zercher squats, move to front squats, then to back squats. All of these train the same movement pattern, and you'll be able to go heavier on each exercise because you're much stronger with back squats than you are Zercher squats.

This will allow you to get a lot of stimulation for one specific pattern while targeting different muscles and muscle fibers involved in that pattern.

Since you never know how you'll have to use your strength when fighting zombies, it's important to be able to utilize strength in various conditions.

2.  Continuous Muscular Effort

Method:  Mechanical Drop Sets

Fact: Zombies are total jerks. So they're not going to wait for you to rest between sets of bludgeoning their brainpans with a crowbar.

It's good to be strong, but you also need to be able to sustain a continuous muscular effort. Use mechanical drop sets to work on that.

Do the same movements as you did with the continuous ramp. Mechanical drop sets use three variations of one movement pattern. They're done in succession with a brief rest – 5-10 seconds, just enough to reset and clear some lactic acid.

The three exercises are arranged in a weakest-to-strongest order. That will allow you to go close to failure on the first one and still be able to do reps on the second and then the third exercise.

Shoot for about 70-90 seconds of intense effort. Go all out. You have to get used to the lactic acid, otherwise it'll come back to haunt you when the biters come ambling in.

3.  Speed and Explosiveness

Method:  Olympic Lifts, Throws, and Jumps

You need to be faster and more explosive. Train explosive movements, like variations of the Olympic lifts, throws, and jumps.

Throws are useful. If you become good at hurling objects you'll be able to use anything heavy as a weapon against the necrotics.

It's possible you might need to run away, so you need speed and agility.

You might also need to carry a friend that's been injured in battle. Never leave anyone behind... unless they've been bitten, then simply severe their spinal column.

To be prepared, use loaded carries.

Military Man

The Zombie Apocalypse Program

Monday

  Exercise Sets Reps
Power Work
A Muscle Snatch, wide grip 5 3-5
Warm up, then do 5 work sets
Continuous Ramp
In a continuous ramp, take 4-5 sets to ramp up in the first exercise, and 3 sets per exercise for the other following two movements.
B Behind the Neck Press, standing 4-5 5
Start with about 60% of 1RM, do sets of 5 reps, adding weight every set until you hit your 5RM.
C Military Press, standing, bar in front 3 5
Start with the weight you ended with on the behind the neck press. Do sets of 5 reps and add weight every set until you hit your 5RM.
D Push Press 3 5
Start with the weight you ended with on the military press. Again, do sets of 5 reps, adding weight every set until you hit your 5RM.
Strength-Capacity
Do this as a mechanical drop set, only taking about 5 seconds between exercises. Use the same weight (20 pounds less than your 5RM) for all three movements. Perform only one set but don't leave anything in the tank!
E1 Behind the Neck Press 1 max
E2 Military Press 1 max
E3 Push Press 1 max

Tuesday

  Exercise Sets Reps
Power Work
A1 and A2 are a complex. Alternate between both with 60 seconds of rest.
A1 Power Clean from the Hang 4 5
A2 Kettlebell Jumps 4 5
Kettlebell between your legs on the floor. Jump up as high as possible. Reset on every rep.
Strength-Capacity
B1 Muscle Snatch 3 3
Use a power clean grip, just outside shoulders. No rest. When the bar is overhead go to B2.
B2 Overhead Walk 3 60 m.
Perform 3 such sets with 90-120 seconds of rest.
Metabolic Conditioning & Bodyweight Strength
3 rounds for time, as fast as possible.
C 10  Pull-Ups
20  Dips or Ring Dips
30  Push-ups
40  Bodyweight Lunges (20 per leg)
50  Bodyweight Squats
3  

Wednesday

  Exercise Sets Reps
Power Work
A Snatch-grip High Pull from hang
Warm up, then 5 work sets with the same weight.
Continuous Ramp
B Zercher Deadlift from pins below knees 4-5 5
Start with about 60% of 1RM, do sets of 5 reps, adding weight every set until you hit your 5RM.
C Romanian Deadlift 3 5
Start with the weight you ended on with the Zercher deadlift. Do sets of 5 reps and add weight every set until you hit your 5RM.
D Deadlift 3 5
Start with the weight you ended with on the Romanian deadlift. Again, do sets of 5 reps adding weight every set until you hit your 5RM.
Strength-Capacity
Do this as a mechanical drop set, only taking about 5 seconds between exercises. Use the same weight (20 pounds less than your 5RM) for all three movements. Perform only one set but go hard!
E1 Zercher Deadlift 1 max
E2 Romanian Deadlift 1 max
E3 Deadlift 1 max

Thursday

No training. Learn to field dress and cook wild animals. Stock up on batteries at Wal-Mart.

Friday

  Exercise Sets Reps
Power Work
A1 Speed Back Squat & Vertical Jump 10 2
Do 2 speed squats using 50% of 1RM. Rack the bar, then perform 2 vertical jumps as high as possible. Rest 30 seconds then start over. Do 10 sets.
Strength-Capacity
Use the same weight for all 4 stations, which is about 60-70% of your power clean from the hang.
B1 Zercher Full Cycle  See video below. 3 5
After the last rep, without dropping the bar, go to B2.
B2 Zercher Walk 3 50 m.
Rest 30 seconds, then go to B3.
B3 Power Clean from Hang 3 5
After the last rep, go on to B4.
B4 Walk with Barbell 3 50 m.
Use a front rack position. Rest 5 minutes. Perform 3 total sets.
Metabolic Conditioning & Bodyweight Strength
C1 "T" Sprint 6  
Set up four cones or whatever markers you have handy in the shape of a T. The starting point is the bottom of the T; the second cone is 10 yards in front of the first one. Third cone is 5 yards on the left of the second one. Fourth cone is 5 yards on the right of the second cone. Sprint from the bottom of the T to the top, break to the left cone. Break again and sprint to the far right cone.
C2 Pull-Ups
Vertical Jumps
Bodyweight Squats
6 10
As soon as you reach the last cone do 10 push-ups, 10 vertical jumps, and 10 body weight squats as fast as possible. Rest 15 seconds and start over. Do this drill 6 times, 15 seconds between "sets." On each set change the direction. From the top of the T, alternate between left and right cones.

Saturday

  Exercise Sets Reps
Power Work
A Medicine Ball Throw Complex
Wall-ball as high on wall as possible
Throw to wall from chest
Medicine ball slam to the ground
Backward throw overhead high on wall
3 10
Rest 30 seconds between stations, 2 minutes between sets. Perform 3 sets.
Continuous Ramp
In a continuous ramp, take 4-5 sets to ramp up in the first exercise, and 3 sets per exercise for the other following two movements.
B Zercher Squat 4-5 5
Start with about 60% of 1RM, do sets of 5 reps, adding weight every set until you hit your 5RM.
C Front Squat 3 5
Start with the weight you ended with on the Zercher squat. Do sets of 5 reps and add weight every set until you hit your 5RM.
D Back Squat 3 5
Start with the weight you ended with on the front squat. Again, do sets of 5 reps, adding weight every set until you hit your 5RM.
Strength-Capacity
Do this as a mechanical drop set, only taking about 5 seconds between exercises. Use the same weight for all three movements.
E1 Behind the Neck Press 2 15
E2 Military Press 2 15
E3 Push Press 2 15
Speed Work & Metabolic Conditioning
F Sprints 6 60 m.
Rest 2 minutes between sets.
G Sprint 1 400 m.
Only do one but go all out. Rest 10 minutes then go to H.
H Wheelbarrow Walk or Farmer's Walk. 1 5 min.
Put about 90 pounds in a wheelbarrow and cover as much distance as possible in 5 minutes.

Sunday

No training. Reinforce your residence. Practice crossbow skills.

Ready for Anything

Wait, you don't think the zombies are coming?

You're a damn fool then. But if you're right, this program will also make you strong, lean, capable, and fast. And that's cool too.